Villa Bird is an unexpected style of architecture to find among the countryside of Texas. 
My first visit to the property greeted me with such an amazement of how a structure could so quickly transport me to feel like I was in another country. To feel like I was in a different time. 
Such attention to detail had been given to this home when it was built. 

The ambiance this unique house exudes is one of an old 1920's Spanish Colonial Revival Style. However, it was built in the late 1990's. This was accomplished with the use of repurposed antique elements throughout. Those are qualities that I am thoughtfully contemplating as I plan this renovation.

What to keep. What to update. What to change. 

The charm needs to remain, but also be a home that reflects my family's personalities, 

our needs and how we live.

I hope you join me on this new journey!


New Project New Journey

I wasn't looking for a Spanish Revival House, but this one was unlike any house I had ever owned. 

The first time that I walked in the front door I felt like I was in another country. 

Maybe Spain, Italy, France or Argentina? Certainly not Texas.

Every detail was well thought out and planned by the original owners who built it in 1998. 

Antique doors, light fixtures, hardware and even reclaimed wood floors trick you into thinking the house was built in the 1920's.

So, what are my ideas for this project??

Let's just say there will be white paint, organic touches with clay tiles, lightened woods and a fresh and down to Earth feel.

A style I like to refer to as Modern Organic. 

" A balanced mix of modern lines and often crisp white surfaces contrasted with natural forms and materials, and neutral colors. " - Houzz


Our Country Living Magazine Story

I am often asked how our farmhouse was chosen to be featured in Country Living Magazine. 

Here's the scoop.
 On a day in May of 2016, I received an email from my neighbor, Cindy, that lives one street over from our primary house in McKinney. Her words were, " Hi, I have Country Living Magazine at my house doing a photo shoot and I drove the Home Editor around our neighborhood and she would like to see your house. Could I give her your phone number?".
Of course, I said yes and that we also had a farm house we were renovating and she might be interested in learning more about that project. 
(Cindy's home was featured in the July/Aug. 2016 issue. visit her wonderful blog )

Then, I looked around at my messy house! Oh, dear... the two weeks prior to this we had our three grandchildren and son at the house for a week while their mother was in England. The day they left I drove to Tulsa for a  product design presentation, then came home and flew out to the High Point Market in N. C. The day after I arrived back home, Mr. Ella came down with a terrible virus. Thankfully I dodged that bullet, but then I had a horrible allergy attack. So, with Mr. Ella feeling better and me with a tissue box nearby at all times, we managed to get the house into shape! 
I am not saying that anything was thrown under any beds, the garage or the oven...but it may have happened.
I tell you all of this because you have to seize opportunities when they happen.  
If you don't swing the bat you will never hit the ball, much less make a home run!
So, Jennifer Kopf came to my home and it was such a delight to meet her. I showed her photos of the farmhouse renovation and she asked that I send her more as we made progress. 

When we had the farm, which we call "The Range", at a point where we felt good, I had a friend from church take photos.  He was awesome. The house was still a little empty and Karson helped pull in color and plants so the pictures would show the rooms off at their best. So, off these went to CL. It was just a few days later when I was asked if they could come and do a photo shoot!!  The timing was a bit crazy. Our daughter was getting married close to when they wanted to do the shoot. 
And again, I will say seize the moment!
It was all such an amazing experience! 


On this Farm

I have this thing for naming the buildings out at our farm. 
The first ideas don't always stick or they evolve into a form from the original thought.
The biggest outbuilding started out as Bluebird Barn because of the bluebird houses outside the doors,
 It was kind of a tongue twister for this Texas accent and the grandkids, so it quickly became Birdie Barn. 
So much better. A nod to my mom, Birdie.

It's all about family anyway, right?

Well, the green barn (soon to be aqua) was called the corn crib barn by the previous owners because it was used to store corn back in the old days. 

Part of the year the barn is occupied by a mama turkey buzzard and her babies. 
She will hiss at you some and fly out with her six foot wing span, land on the tin roof and watch you until you leave. 
So, it became known as Buzzard Barn.

Next to those buildings is Mr. Ella's barn. The tin used for the roof had been torn off another old barn, leaving tiny nail holes that dot the ceiling. Even though most of them are sealed with silicone, the light still sparkles through. It takes me to another world when I walk in and look up. All that goes with farming is housed below this starry sky. 
None of the names that I have tried have jived yet, but
 I know the perfect one is out there, it just may take a little time!


Demo Day is not for Sissies!

We have been busy out at The Range! 
I knew before we even started the demo that I wanted the Master Bedroom to be my special retreat spot. 
The floor plan of the house was all chopped up so I quickly rearranged all of the rooms including the staircase. 
That will be in another post..

The old dining room seemed like the perfect place for the Master Bedroom.
 All we had to do was pull up the carpet, take the 1970's paneling down
 (which was partially covered in 1980's wallpaper...)
and then add our own touch. 
Sounded so easy!

I should know anytime you remodel a house that you can always 
expect the unexpected.
After all, this is not my first rodeo... I have lost count on the number of houses Mr. Ella and I have worked on. 
The very first house we bought,way back when, had ship lap under the old wallpaper.
 I remember burning the strings off the nails even in a tiny closet!

This is what " Just taking the paneling down" led to. 
Not for the faint of heart. Vision is the key word here,
And yes, that is a water heater tucked up above the built in cabinet - go figure.
The wood used on this area of the walls and floors indicated that the house was much older than 1912. 
We are guessing it started out small and as the family grew and the money came in 
(good crops) the other rooms were added.
If these walls could only talk.

The first day of demo, I showed up at the house to this mess. 
The workers were supposed to only take up the sub floor, but did not understand that and just started cutting up the whole floor, many in 2 foot pieces. I was not a happy camper, but the damage was already done. It really ended up being a blessing because as you can see what was under that wonderful floor was awful and smelly.

So, I decided to make lemonade from lemons and picked the grey wood out. The linoleum brick pattern was what was on top of the other flooring and in the kitchen. Again- go figure!

We had just enough to make this wall. 
You can see where I started cleaning and sanding it... 

Not too bad!
All of the old wood we are using throughout the house was already there somewhere hiding under many layers of time. 
Not all of them are that easy to get to though!